Trojans have fewer options on defense this week


Monte Kiffin is architect of the famed Tampa 2 defense, a scheme that USC’s assistant head coach for defense acknowledged Tuesday would be of no use against top-ranked Oregon and its high-speed spread attack.

“The Tampa 2 isn’t exactly what you shut down the triple option with,” he said, laughing. “That’s for a whole different deal.”

Kiffin, father of Coach Lane Kiffin, had great success with the Tampa 2 in the NFL.

But he was running different schemes when he faced the wishbone and other offensive styles during college coaching stints at Nebraska, Arkansas and North Carolina State before moving to the NFL in the early 1980s.


Oregon Coach Chip Kelly increased the challenge of playing against the spread by adding a breakneck pace to what was an already potent Ducks attack.

“This is really unique,” Monte Kiffin said.

USC is coming off its best defensive performance of the season, a dominating effort in a 48-14 victory over California.

Kelly has studied film of the Trojans, but experience against other opponents tells him to expect something different.

“Usually, what we saw on Saturdays is not what we saw on film,” he said.

Kiffin not atwitter

Kiffin said he had no problem with quarterback Matt Barkley’s controversial UFC-related weekend tweet that compared Brock Lesnar to Oregon and USC to new heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.

Barkley reiterated that the since-deleted tweet had nothing to do with Oregon.

“I didn’t have any problem because of who he is,” Kiffin said of Barkley. “The guy doesn’t have a bad bone in his body.”

Ambles suspended


Markeith Ambles, a freshman receiver from Georgia, did not practice because he has been suspended indefinitely from team activities, Lane Kiffin said.

Kiffin declined to specify the reason for the suspension, but said it was “nothing major” and had “nothing to do with the law.”

“I’ve said before, we have extremely high standards of what we expect our student-athletes to do, and if someone doesn’t want to maintain those standards … they’re not going to be part of our program,” Kiffin said, adding that if players do not go to class or tutoring sessions, “then you don’t get to play football.”

Ambles could not be reached for comment.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Simione Vehikite also is currently serving a suspension, Kiffin said.

Quick hits

The Trojans got a brief scare when tailback Marc Tyler was on the turf for several minutes surrounded by trainers after being hit during the final drill. Tyler said he fell on an already bruised tailbone but would be ready for Saturday’s game…. Tailback Dillon Baxter remained sidelined because of a toe injury.